Apparently “thumbs” are way out of date

When I want the kids to reflect on their learning really quickly I often say “show me thumbs” (i.e. thumbs up means feeling good, through to thumbs down meaning not feeling confident about something at all).  It works well, since it is simple and effective and really easily understood by me. In a glance I can see children who need extending and children who need extra help.

But apparently we have over done this! A boy in my class decided to create his own solution though, which I discovered by accident in his book recently. He has a target whereby if you’ve ‘got’ something a bullet hole is left in the center,  if you need a bit more work the bullet goes into the 50 ring, and if something is really hard a bullet goes in the outer ring. Luckily there are no bullets that completely miss the target! He said he does this whenever he feels the need to reflect on something, which is relatively frequently given the number of bullet holes on the target for one week. There is also a code/key so he can indicate his thoughts on different subjects.

I guess what excited me about discovering this was the way it indicates the frequency and organic manner in which the class reflect. Most of the time, I don’t realise just how natural self assessment and reflection are for the children, but it has become part of the way in which they learn.

The next step for me will be to get this student to talk to the class about what he has done and how it works for him. The class can then think about how they reflect and if it should be shown in a visual way, such as this. We also need to discuss what we do already and what we could do if the bullet falls into the 25 ring. What strategies are there to move the bullet into the 100 ring?

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2 thoughts on “Apparently “thumbs” are way out of date

  1. What an amazing idea. If one was to put up a target that students could put their names on then students who need support could then see those who feel more confident and then approach them for support. Kids are amazing at coming up with innovative solutions and that takes the pressure off us as teachers and the whole learning experience becomes shared and collaborative. Give him a “thumbs up” from me or should that rather be a “bullseye”!

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